PREVIEW: What to look out for ahead of the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix

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PREVIEW: What to look out for ahead of the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix

It's a new stop on the Formula E calendar as all-electric racing heads to one of the most anticipated rounds in Season 10, the first-ever race in Japan and the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix on Saturday 30 March, 2024.

Tokyo-skyline

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championships charts a course for a new location in the series' history, as Japan becomes the 24th country to host an E-Prix with the 34th different venue to see racing action, as the future of motorsport lands in the modern metropolis of Tokyo.

Taking to the streets of Tokyo, the all-electric single-seater championship is going to be the first event of its kind in the city. No FIA-sanctioned world championship motorsport event has ever been held in Tokyo with Formula E breaking new ground on what’s possible once again.

The 2024 Tokyo E-Prix gets underway at 15:00 local time on Saturday 30 March. Find out where to watch and sync your calendar for all the latest updates and session times.

As it stands...

After four rounds, the milestone 10th season of Formula E is becoming one for the ages. Mexico maestro, Pascal Wehrlein opened up Season 10 with more success in Mexico City, as the TAG Heuer Porsche driver converted a pole start to his fifth victory in Formula E, at the locale of Porsche's first win in the series - secured by the German back in Season 8.

Heading to Round 2 in Diriyah, reigning champion Jake Dennis (Andretti) scored a masterful victory under the lights after perfectly timing an ATTACK MODE overcut to romp away to his sixth win in Formula E by over 13 seconds - registering the second-largest win margin in Formula E history.

Round 3 wouldn't see a repeat of the Diriyah double as Dennis was unable to carry over the previous day's pace, but this opened up the door for Jaguar TCS Racing's Nick Cassidy to swoop in and score a victory at only the third time of asking since moving to the factory team. The New Zealander finds his new surroundings to his liking with a hat-trick of podiums to start Season 10, and a lead in the Drivers' standings.

A return to Brazil for Round 4 and a country steeped in motorsport history, and the second São Paulo E-Prix did not disappoint. After an exciting debut in Season 9, the streets of the Anhembi Sambadrome were awash with even more wheel-to-wheel action with racing right down to the wire.

It was Sam Bird who came out on top following a daring last lap dive for the lead, coming round the outside of Jaguar's Mitch Evans to score NEOM McLaren's first win in Formula E and ending his 37-race winless streak that stretched back to New York City in 2021.

A DNF for Drivers' championship leader Cassidy saw the gap close up at the top of the standings after São Paulo, but with four different winners in four races - the title fight is still wide open heading into Tokyo this weekend.

Homeward bound

Tokyo marks an important round on the calendar for Nissan as their first home race in Formula E. The Japanese manufacturer's headquarters are close to the Tokyo circuit and they will want to put on a show for the home fans.

This round comes at an opportune period for Nissan, the Japanese manufacturer has been on the rise this season and is closing the gap to the dominance we've seen from the Jaguar and Porsche powertrains from last season.

fenestraz rowland hug diriyah
Fenestraz hugs Rowland after the Brit claimed the Julius Baer Pole Position for Round 3 in Diriyah

Nissan's Oliver Rowland has been on the podium in the last two races, and thanks to a dramatic final lap overtake to victory the Nissan powertrain went to the top step in the papaya colours of NEOM McLaren's Sam Bird - marking only the second race to be won by someone using a powertrain other than Porsche or Jaguar in the last 16 races.

It's cherry blossom season across Japan right now, will we see the Nissan powertrain continue to blossom at home?

It's also somewhat of a second race for Nissan's Sacha Fenestraz and Nick Cassidy (Jaguar TCS Racing), as the pair honed their race craft in Japan in the Super Formula and Super GT series. 

cassidy super formula japan
Nick Cassidy racing in Japan's Super Formula series

Speaking on the return to racing in Japan, Fenestraz said: "I’m extremely excited of course, I did a big part of my career in Japan so going back there will be awesome and I cannot wait for the race. I know how amazing and crazy the Japanese fans are, so that will make it even more special.

"It’s the first time the team and Formula E are going to Japan, so we are looking forward to seeing all the amazing support in the grandstands. It will be almost like a home race for me, the track looks really interesting so I’m excited to go racing!”

Current Drivers' standings leader, Cassidy will have fond memories of racing here, having secured the coveted ‘Triple Crown’ of Japanese motorsport titles: Japanese Formula 3 in 2015, Super GT in 2017 and the Super Formula Championship in 2019. After crashing out of the race in São Paulo and ending his podium streak, this will be the perfect place for the New Zealander to return to the rostrum.

Where does Formula E race in Tokyo? What's the circuit layout?

The challenging 18-turn, 2.582km street circuit will surround the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre – the largest venue in Japan also known as Tokyo Big Sight – only minutes from downtown Tokyo.

tokyo-track-map

The track includes three long straights, technical sequences of tight corners, and high-speed combinations set against the stunning Tokyo metropolis backdrop.

READ MORE: The Formula E grid previews the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix

The drivers are raring to sample this 2.585km circuit that's set to be a true test of their skills, having only experienced this circuit on the simulators. Andretti driver and reigning champion Jake Dennis is eager to lap the circuit for the first time, saying on Formula E show The Added Lap: “I can’t wait to be honest, it’s going to be an incredible circuit. I have driven it on the simulator and it’s tight, twisty and bumpy.

"It will be fun to watch on TV, I don’t know about the driver's spines! It is going to be challenging with the really fast tight corners. It’s a little bit like Rome really!”

SCHEDULE: Where, when and how to watch or stream the 2024 Tokyo E-Prix Round 5

The Tokyo E-Prix gets underway on Friday 29 March with Free Practice 1 at 16:30 local time.

WATCH: How to watch or stream Formula E's Tokyo E-Prix where you are

Then it's on to race day on Saturday 30 March as Free Practice 2 kicks off the day at 08:00 local, qualifying follows at 10:20 local with lights out on Round 4 at 15:00 local/06:00 UTC.

View the full schedule in your time zone and check the broadcaster listings or tap the Ways to Watch button above to find out where to watch all the racing action where you live.

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